The Allen Institute, designed by Perkins and Will’s Seattle office, has received a High Honors – Laboratory of the Year Award by R&D Magazine, one of five awards given for the international competition. Now in its 51st year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning, and construction.
The unique design of the Allen Institute embodies the Institute’s research philosophy founded on team science, big science and open science. To support this philosophy, the design broke down the typical barriers in research environments to create a facility that fosters a culture of team science to facilitate rapid advancements in brain research. The innovative design is organized as “petals” of functional spaces arrayed around a central atrium that visually and spatially connects the various activities and maximizes daylight and views. This organization naturally bring groups together and promotes a sense of community and exposes research activities with transparent labs that can be viewed from the interior and exterior.
The project’s success is in the balance of function and form, as best described by Rick Horwitz, Executive Director, Allen Institute for Cell Science: “Many will tell you about the beauty of the new building, its warm wood-finished interior, abundant light, open spaces, interdigitating lab and work spaces, aesthetically and scientifically terrific location, etc. However, I am most impressed how wonderfully the building lives, facilitating our work, supporting our daily work, promoting interactions, supporting the spectrum of scientific activities from experiment to theory and modeling. Simply put, I have never seen or been in a building that matches its functionality (or aesthetics). One sees conversations throughout the building, all the time, we meet colleagues in the central stairwell and make connections that we had not anticipated, and the spaces work to support personal work and interaction in indescribable ways.
In addition to receiving the High Honors award on April 25, 2017, the Allen Institute received Engineering News Record’s Best of the Best Award in Higher Education/Research on April 14, 2017.